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Senator CLARK. Thank you very much, Mrs. McVitty, for your very helpful testimony.
Mrs. McVITTY. Thank you, sir, for giving me this opportunity.
STATEMENT OF MARION H. MCVITTY
My name is Marion H. McVitty, and I appear before you as editor of "The Independent Observer." Perhaps I should explain that after 10 years as organization representative at the United Nations, I felt there was a need for a periodical analysis in some depth of important U.N. issues. My publication seeks to fill that need for opinionmakers.
I have asked to be heard by the committee because S. Con. Res. 32 seems to me to be the most significant foreign policy initiative before Congress. It is my fear that its immediate importance may not be realized, because its primary concern is with the long-range development of international organization capable of enforcing general and complete disarmament.
The United States has been actively negotiating a draft treaty outline for general and complete disarmament in the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee, for 3 years. That treaty outline proposes, but does not formulate, the essential peacekeeping components that must accompany national disarmament. It enumerates, but does not blueprint the security powers which an international organization must exercise for the protection of all peoples when national defense establishments have been dismantled. The U.S. treaty outline foresees the need for an international authority to exercise such powers, but it is, in my judgment, ambiguous as to what international institution shall be given that authority.
As presently drafted the U.S. proposal may intend to authorize an International Disarmament Organization to enforce peace as well as to control disarmament. On the other hand, it may intend to place primary responsibility in a reconstituted United Nations. It may, in the third place, equally well be interpreted to suggest that peacekeeping and arms control may be the shared responsibility of the Disarmament Organization and a revised United Nations. Whatever the intent of this document may be in this regard, the schedule of disarmament stages, the program for constituting international peace forces, and the references to the International Disarmament Organization and the U.N. demonstrate confusion over this vital matter.
It may be wise to leave this difficult question out of the U.S. outline in order to permit flexibility in negotiations. However, if the United States does not. itself, know rather precisely what kind of an international authority this country would deem adequate for the whole plan, we may agree to first steps which will prejudice the effectiveness of the authority in later stages, or we may unwittingly concur in the impairment of the United Nations without having set up a workable alternative.
Furthermore, a failure to give attention to so important an aspect of the disarmament process must be expected to engender, at home and abroad, a cynical disbelief in the serious intent of this Government to pursue its own proposals.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 addresses itself squarely to this question as to whether effective international machinery for the supervision of disarmament and the maintenance of peace ** may best be achieved by revision of the Charter of United Nations, by a new treaty or by a combination of the two. It requests study, formulation, and public information, with respect to an adequate
I repeat-because the U.S. disarmament treaty outline is being negotiated with other governments this is not a long-range problem which can be worked out at leisure. Adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 cannot come a moment too soon.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to be heard.
Senator CLARK. Our next witness is Bernice Steel of the Women Strike for Peace.
Mrs. Steel, we have your prepared statement. It will be printed in full in the record. Will you summarize it if you will. It really does not do any good just to read these statements. It just means they do not get printed twice. If you could just hit the highlights in 10 minutes, we would be very grateful.
STATEMENT OF BERNICE STEEL, WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mrs. STEEL. I would be glad to do so. I would like to begin by saying that the Women Strike for Peace has been dedicated from its beginning to complete disarmament under effective international controls. As you know, we have been working actively and very hard in every area of crisis. We are exceedingly concerned about the development and the use of the United Nations as an international organ as we move along toward disarmament. I do want to bring up, as I have in my statement, our current total despair at times about Vietnam and about the Dominican Republic and the terror that grips us at times because of the situation of the world, and the fact that the U.N. for some reason at this time is inadequate and incapable of handling this. That is why we are so pleased to be here today to wholeheartedly support resolution 32 as a step very much in the right direction, hopefully away from this warlike feeling that we are being subjected to left and right.
We do feel very strongly, and perhaps as women we feel it more intuitively, that we need to have a different kind of perspective of the world situation, particularly in relation to the smaller nations that today are in a period of revolution.
CONCERN ABOUT HIGH MILITARY EXPENDITURES
We live in such a fast-moving age and in an atomic age, and the whole diplomacy is so old fashioned. We are fighting force with force. We are meeting every impasse with military solutions rather than political solutions, and as Senator Javits said, "It is inevitable that we must have an organ that is above national power to which we can turn for negotiation, for study, for something other than a military solution."
As women we are terribly concerned about the fact that approximately two-thirds of the world is in a state of starvation. We feel very strongly that not only in the United States do we have to have a war against poverty but that we need to think of this in terms of the total international problem.
We have, before the Congress, Senator McGovern's suggestion for economic reconversion away from a war economy. Of course we feel very strongly that we must begin to cut down on our defense spending, on our military spending; even a very small percentage would release such enormous funds that our war on poverty could be a terribly exciting thing. This is true also on a world basis, to think what we can do internationally by releasing some of the defense funds and feeding people in developing countries and avoiding the kinds of problems that we now have in other areas of the world.
But the main point here today I think, and I think, Senator Clark, you are putting it forward often and very clearly, is that the people have to know, they have to understand, and they have to want this to be done. The proposals and the money and the plans are all available. There are many, many things that could be done. But for men to want to do them and for the people to want them done is the important thing, and the American public is not geared in this direction at this time.
It is part of our motivation to try to activate the American public in understanding and engaging in this kind of thinking.
SUPPORT FOR JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
A further point that I brought out in the paper that I prepared is the fact that the United Nations has had under study since 1952 the development of the lower Mekong River which is of particular interest to us now because of President Johnson's proposal that we begin giving further aid to that area of the country as a solution to the problem over there. It is of particular interest, I think, that 25 nations are engaged in this, that the so-called Basic Mekong Committee is made up of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and the Republic of Vietnam.
According to a recent report out of the United Nations, these four countries have been able to have regular meetings, to meet and do constructive work even though they are in deep trouble and in war in that section of the country. It is a purely nonpolitical project.
Our own General Wheeler of the U.S. Army Engineer Corps has contributed a great deal of technical assistance. The United States has contributed large sums of money, and it occurs to us that if the American public had known of this, had supported it, and this area of the country had really been developed as it is just beginning to be, that perhaps we would not have a war in Vietnam today.
Our plea to the Senate and to the Congress is to begin looking at these problems before crises rather than when they occur, to know and to have perspective in a new kind of diplomacy rather than the old sort of thing that just simply is not working.
We have a further question about the Upper Mekong River which is in China, which no one is mentioning, and we ask whether possibly we might begin to act with humanity and perspective in this area or do we again have to wait until war breaks out before considering any such aid in that area.
I have quoted in my conclusion two parts of President Kennedy's speeches. One is from the American University speech of 1963. He asks: "What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war."
At the University of California in 1963 he said: "We must reject oversimplified theories of international life-the theory that American power is unlimited, or that the American mission is to remake the world in the American image."
Women Strike for Peace, every one of us, cherishes the right and accepts the responsibility of the individual in a democratic society to act to influence the course. I ask that the underlined section 3, page 5 in which it is recommended or suggested that the President give his proposals to the Congress and to the American public generally, this to us is vital. We must begin engaging in an exciting new way of living with the rest of the world.
Senator CLARK. Thank you so very much, Mrs. Steel. We are very pleased to have you here.
(Mrs. Steele's statement in full follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF BERNICE STEEL, WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE
Mr. Chairman and members of the committe, it is our pleasure and privilege to give wholehearted support to the resolution under discussion here today. Since its inception, Women Strike for Peace has been dedicted to the achievement of general and complete disarmament under effective international controls. We desire a total test ban, an end to the arms race, and abolition of all weapons of destruction under United Nations safeguards.
We are alarmed, at times in total despair, over the war in Vietnam which seems to promise more and more escalation into the total war. It is as if two immovable objects have no alternative but to clash, perhaps even in nuclear holocaust. Now the landing of thousands of Marines in the Dominican Republic engages us in more military thrusts in political areas. Much of the world reacts negatively and with great concern to such unilateral military action on the part of the United States; as does a large segment of the American public.
If, as our administration has stated, the United Nations is ineffective and inadequate to meet such crises as Vietnam and the Dominican Republic, then it behooves us to examine thoroughly the inadequacies of the United Nations and to make specific recommendations for its improvement, as suggested by this resolution. There will be other crises and we must have an international organ through which to solve international problems creatively and imaginatively.
Originally, the charter of the United Nations expected the five victorious powers of World War II to act unanimously in preventing or enforcing measures against aggression, potential or real. Since that time, to qoute U Thant, Secretary General to the United Nations, "Alinements changed; old enemies became new friends; old comrades in arms found themselves in opposite camps; and the United Nations could not function in the way it was intended to function. The provisions of the charter relating to action with respect to threats to peace and acts of aggression were subjected to various interpretations. I must say in all frankness that in these circumstances the charter provisions are somewhat out of date. It is is this anachronism in the charter-the kind of anachronism which is inevitable in our rapidly changing world-that is partly responsible for the present constitutional and political crisis in the United Nations."
As women, we are geared intuitively to watching our children take each step into maturity. We know that they have to learn to creep before they can walk, and that they must have the freedom to make mistakes and learn by them. We hope to help them anticipate problems and solve them before, rather than after, crisis. In this revolutionary, atomic age the small nations of the world must have the same freedom to make mistakes, to creep, to anticipate and solve problems, and to grow. They can be helped to do so by the great powers. We feel a special urgency for such perspective and maturity in our own Government. The world and its people have moved beyond feudalism and holy wars. We must now catch up with the enormous scientific revolution that threatens to engulf us. We must learn to live with and understand the changes in and the needs of all mankind. Wars and killing are no longer the answer to every impasse, they cannot be the only answer. We must arrive at a state of maturity where it is statesmanlike for a great and powerful nation to show its strength by moral leadership rather than military might.
To quote U Thant again, "Beneath the present realinements, the world is in fact divided in a number of ways. It is divided economically; it is divided racially; and it is divided ideologically, although this latter division may prove to be less basic than the first two. These divisions must be faced and discussed with reason and determination. We ignore them at our peril, for if they are allowed to persist and grow larger they will unleash, as they already show signs of doing, darker forces of bigotry, fear, resentment, and racial hatred than the world has ever seen. We cannot agree to live in such a nightmare, still less bequeath it to our children.”
We are launched on a fight against poverty in the United States. If defense and military expenditures were out only slightly, enormous funds would be released to improve the lot of our own people. We feel sure this can be done to the benefit of our economy, and would be an essential move away from the military-industrial complex of which President Eisenhower warned us.
As Americans, it is difficult for us to comprehend that almost two-thirds of the world is living in starvation. If the members of the United Nations, as
unanimously adopted in the 14th session, could actively work toward "the goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control"; the purpose and excitement of building a better world for all would be such as has never been experienced by mankind. It can be done, but we have to want it to be done. And we believe it will be done. This resolution is a positive, constructive step in that direction.
We believe firmly that the United Nations is the proper instrument for aid to underdeveloped countries. It is of interest to us that the President's proposal for the development of the Lower Mekong River has been a nonpolitical project under study in the United Nations since 1952. Power, irrigation, and navigation projects are progressing; fishery, forestry, and mineral studies are underway; and experimental farms have been set up. This program involves 25 countries. The Basic Mekong Committee consists of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and the Republic of Vietnam. This committee has been able to hold regular meetings and to work together constructively in spite of the adverse conditions current in southeast Asia. The United States and other nations have contributed large sums of money, and the Wheeler Mission, headed by Lieutenant General Wheeler of the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has given invaluable technical assistance. It occurs to us that if the American people understood and actively backed this project in the past several years, the world would have been a better place for millions in southeast Asia and there may not be a war in Vietnam today.
But what, we ask, of the Upper Mekong River? Can we act with humanity and perspective in this area, or will we wait until it breaks into a hot war with China before considering such development? For a lay observer, it is difficult if not impossible to imagine an effective United Nations or international control of peace and disarmament without the participation of all the nations of the world and this is an essential area to which we urge our Government to give special attention.
Women Strike for Peace, each woman in it, cherishes the right and accepts the responsibility of the individual in a democratic society to act to influence the course of government. We underline section 3, page 5, of the resolution asking that the President make his proposals available to the Congress and to the public generally. We believe firmly that with understanding the people of the United States can begin to think about, live, and work with people of other nations, to more earnestly back the United Nations as vital to their welfare, as well as to the welfare of all people.
In conclusion, we would like to quote from President Kennedy's American University speech in June 1963, "What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war."
At the University of California that same year, he said, "We must reject oversimplified theories of international life-the theory that American power is unlimited, or that the American mission is to remake the world in the American image."
We ask you to find a new way through this resolution and the many others before the Congress for a better world.
Senator CLARK. Now, in order that we may have appropriate time to hear the views of the Government witnesses-and we are running a little short of time-I am going to ask the Washington representatives of the other agencies who wish to be heard today to defer their testimony so that we can hear from Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Fisher.
Before we do that, I would like to have printed in the record the statement of Senator E. L. Bartlett of Alaska, one of the cosponsors of this resolution, in support of the resolution, and I would also like to have printed in the record at this point the testimony, the statement of Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, prepared at my request, together with Mr. Stevenson's statement of regret that he could not be here in person.
I regret, too, that he could not be here, but I am sure that Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Fisher will represent his views as well as those of the State Department.